BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

Archived Industry News

October 1 - December 31, 2016

Toyobo to Double Airbag Fabrics Output Capacity. Per a press release by Toyobo Co., Ltd., and a follow up report on the Asia Nikkei website, Toyobo will be investing more than $85.7 million and double production capacity for air bag fabrics over the new four years. As the first step, the Japan-based Toyobo will separate the fabric production plant for airbags from the existing fabric plant in Thailand and establish a manufacturing JV company Toyobo Saha Safety Weave Co., Ltd. with Thailand-based Saha Group. It will also be building a manufacturing facility by 2020 in Germany, and add production equipment to its facilities in Japan, USA, Europe, China and Thailand to fulfill plans to double worldwide production by 2020. Click here to read the Asia Nikkei website article. Posted December 29, 2016

NASA Testing Tiny Parachutes to Bring Back Satellites and Payloads. The National Aeronautics Space Agency (NASA) will be using a new technology called "Exo-Brake" to allow for accurate guided landings of small payloads returning to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS) as well as orbiting satellites. An Exo-Brake is a "tension-based, flexible braking device resembling a cross-parachute that deploys from the rear of a satellite to increase the drag." A test nano-satellite will be deployed from the ISS in early 2017Click here to read more. Posted December 21, 2016

Top 5 Flame-Resistant Clothing Trends for 2017. The website EHS Today (environmental health and safety) has posted the top 5 flame-resistant trends the editors see for 2017. The trends are 1) greater comfort; 2) multiple functionalities; 3) women's workwear; 4) higher quality; and, 5) modern styles. No earth-shattering revelations amongst these trends but nice to confirm what we have been seeing these past few years in protective clothing. Click here to view the pictures posted that accompany the trends. Posted December 21, 2016

Fishermen's Union Supports Mandatory Personal Floatation Devices. The union representing commercial fishermen in the western Canada, is supporting a call to make personal floatation devices (PFDs) mandatory on commercial fishing vessels. The call came following a report released yesterday by the Canadian Transportation Safety Board that found 70% of fishing fatalities in British Columbia occur when workers are not wearing PFDs. Click here to read the article posted on the CVC News website. Posted December 21, 2016

Russian Technical Textiles Market Attracts Private Investments. The website Innovations in Textiles has posted an excellent article reporting on how the Russian technical textiles industry is attracting investments. The current Russian technical textiles market is estimate $450 million. Click here to go to the website and read the article. Posted December 21, 2016

Sioen Continues Acquisition Spree, Purchasing Finnish Ballistic Protection Manufacturer. Shortly after announcing its acquisition of the Finnish drysuit maker Ursuite Oy group (see our December 7 post), Sioen Industries has now announced it has acquired Verseidag Ballistic Protection OY, another Finland-based company. It is a manufacturer of ballistic protective products, including a full range of vests, EOD suites and shields. Verseidag Ballistic Protection was a part of the Jagenberg Group. For 2017, Verseidag Ballistic Protection is forecasting an EBITDA of approximately $2.46 million. Click here to read the Sioen company press release on the acquisition. Posted December 21, 2016

Engineered Netting Company Purchased. SWM, a provider of engineered solutions and advanced materials, announced December 14 that it has agreed to buy Conwed Plastics, a maker of thermoplastic nets, nonwovens, laminates and extruded components. The purchased is intended to fuel the expansion of SWM’s Advanced Materials and Structures growth platform. It adds complimentary company assets to a similar SWM purchase in 2013 of DelStar, another thermal knit fabric company. Conwed is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., USA, has as 5 manufacturing locations. Its products go into filtration applications, erosion and sediment control for highway infrastructure, and oil and gas site development, as well as carpet and turf backings used in residential construction. SWM and its subsidiaries in over 90 countries. The announced purchased price is $295 million. Click here for more information. Posted December 20, 201

Sioen Protective Clothing Plant in Myanmar Up and Running. The brand new factory of Sioen in Myanmar making protective clothing is open. The factory began operations in June 2016 and will reach full capacity by the end of 2017. The Sioen Industries Group is expected to invest $2.29 million in the factory, operated under the subsidiary Sioen Myanmar Ltd. Posted December 17, 2016

Atlanta Attachment Purchased by HSM. HSM, a manufacturer of products components to the furniture, bedding and transportation industries, has announced the purchase of Atlanta Attachment Company and its subsidiaries. Atlanta Attachment is headquartered in Lawrenceville, Ga., USA, and is a supplier of heavy duty sewing machinery, packaging equipment and automation processes for the bedding, home furnishings, apparel and automotive industries. HSM is headquartered in Hickory, N.C., USA. Click here to read the company press release on the purchase. Posted December 9, 2016

Fiberglass Manufacturer Buys Mill in South Carolina. According to the website Greenville Online, B&W Fiberglass has announced the purchase of the JPS Composite Materials plant in Slater, S.C., USA. B&W is an advanced manufacturing family-owned business with operations in the UK and in North Carolina, USA. It plans to continue to manufacture high strength woven fiberglass material at the location. Click here to read the article posted. Posted December 8, 2016

Sioen Acquires Dry Suit Manufacturer. Coated fabric manufacturer Sioen Industries NV of The Netherlands announced yesterday it has reach an agreement for the acquisition of the Ursuit Oy group of companies. Headquartered in Finland, Ursuit is a manufacturer of dry suits used for diving, fishing and applications involving extreme environmental conditions. The value of the acquisition is approximately $25 million. Click here to read the Sioen press release. Posted December 7, 2016

US Department of Commerce Releases October Export Figures. US exports in the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group continue their decline through October according to the latest figures released today by the US Department of Commerce. The overall World market for the group showed a -4.1% decline in comparing 12-month year-endfor October 2015 and 2016. Of the top 5 export designations, only the UK showed an increase. Below are the numbers for the World and the top 5 countries receiving exports. Click here to see the entire report. Posted December 6, 2016




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World 4,290,913 4,030,056 -4.13

Teijin Plans to Reorganize Polyester and Aramid Fiber Businesses. In a press release issued December 2, Teijin Limited announced it would integrate its industrial-application polyester fibers business and the Products Converting Business Group to form the new Fibers & Products Converting Business Group. The plan is to integrate by April 1, 2017. The new group will include industrial-application polyester fibers that are currently part of the High Performance Fibers Business Unit within the Advanced Fibers & Composites Business Group. Teijin's aramid fibers global business will continue under the High Performance Fibers Business Unit. Click here to read the press release. Posted December 4, 2016

US Army Testing Wool for Its New Combat Uniforms. The US Army has developed a fabric composed of 50 percent wool, 42 percent Nomex, 5 percent Kevlar and 3 percent P140 antistatic fiber. One goal of textile R&D underway is to create a flame-resistant combat uniform made wholly from domestic materials, said Ms. Carole Winterhalter, a textile technologist with the Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center. "We have a lightweight fabric that is inherently flame resistant. No topical treatments are added to provide FR," Winterhalter further said. "We are introducing a very environmentally friendly and sustainable fiber to the combat uniform system. We don't have other wool-based fabrics in the system right now. This is a brand-new material." Click here to read a posting on the prototype testing on the Army Times website. Posted December 4, 2016

US Fabricator Gets Congressional Help in Effort to Import Duty-Free Yarn. Here we go again. As we posted on August 15, 2016, another US end-product fabricator in a Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) is unable to get competitive priced products from domestic sources and its request to the FTZ board to obtain duty-free yarns being blocked by industry trade associations representing the domestic fiber, yarn and fabric industries. It's similar to situation of the Coleman Co., a personal flotation device company in an FTZ in Sauk Rapids, Minn., USA. This time the company is Flemish Master Weavers (FMW), based in Sanford, Maine. And now, like Coleman, the company has enlisted the support of its Congressional delegation for repeal of the denial of the Proposed Production Authority request. Opposing the FMW request are American Fiber Producers Association, National Council of Textile Organizations, and United States Industrial Fabrics Association, a division of Industrial Fabrics Association International. Click here to read an article posted December 2 on the Sanford News website. Posted December 4, 2016

Maine Lobstermen Sought to Try Out New PFD Designs. High costs and uncomfortable designs have resulted in many lobstermen making what is literally a life-or-death decision to not wear personal flotation devices (PFDs) when going out to do their high risk jobs. According to a recent study in the US by the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety, only 16% of lobstermen use a PFD on the job despite drowning being the leading cause of deaths in their profession. The Northeast Center is now asking New England lobstermen to help design a new PFD they would wear every day. It is hoped their input will result in designs that are more tailored and comfortable for the lobstermen. Click here to read the article posted on the Portland, Maine's Press Herald website. Posted December 2, 2016

Post-TPP Analysis. There have been a number of articles posted recently regarding what is going to happen now that it looks like US ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is doomed. Stephen S. Roach, a faculty member at Yale University and former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, has written a good analysis posted on the Euroasia Review website, covering China's own problems in facing a shifting domestic economy that is moving to become more service oriented and less dependent on manufacturing. Click here to read. Posted December 2, 2016

Making Ordinary Canopies Extraordinary: Special Forces Parachutes Overview. The Fox News website has a great overview posted on the parachutes used by the US military's special forces units. While there's not much on fabric technical information, the article describes the types of parachutes for different situations such as either a high-altitude or low-altitude insertion; there's even information on tandem parachutes for situations when dropping in dogs. Click here to read the article. Posted December 2, 2016

2016 Geosynthetic Manufacturing in Review. Geosynthetica Editor Chris Kelsey does a very good job in reviewing the 2016 expansion initiatives for a number of manufacturers in the geosynthetics industry. Click here to read the posting on the Geosynthetica website. Posted December 2, 2016

Tent Manufacturer Benefiting from NFL Story. There is a good article on the Tuscaloosa News website regarding the interest in privacy tents being used by professional sport teams during games. The notice came after a television camera last week showed the NFL Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers disappearing into one of these tents last week along the sideline during a game so he could be treated for an injury. The article featured an interview with privacy tent maker Kinematic Sports of Tuscaloosa, Ala., USA. Click here to read the article. Posted December 1, 2016

Advances in Medical Textile Applications Overview Posted. There is a great overview of the medical textile industry that was recently published in the November/December issue of Textile World magazine and on their website. Author Jim Kaufmann takes a look at the broad range of applications textiles, from wound-care to implantable structures. Click here to read the article on the Textile World website. Posted November 30, 2016

Russian Marines Get Floatable Infantry Combat System. As we previously reported (see September 16 post), the Russian military is getting an upgrade in its "Ratnik" personal combat gear system. The  website has reported  the first kits for the Russian Navy are being distriubted. "The Ratnik for marines is distinct in that it has a a special floating bulletproof vest called Korsar," said Dimitry Gnezdilov, Deputy Chief of the Russian Navy coastal troops. Click here to read more abou the Navy system. Posted November 28, 2016

South Korean Company to Build Tired Cord Fabrics Plant in Vietnam. Per the Nikkei Asian Review website, South Korea's Kolon Industries signed a memorandum of understanding November 23 with the government of Vietnam's Binh Duong Province to construct a $600 million a tire cord fabrics plant. The facility. expected to be operational in 2018, will have a monthly capacity of 6,000 tons, much of it planned for exports. Kolon already operates a $14 million plant producing automotive air bags in Binh Duong. Click here to read the entire article. Posted November 25, 2016

Indian Army Receives First Lot of Ballistic Jackets. The Indian Army has received the first lot of 20,000 ballistic jackets for its troops posted in counter-insurgency and anti-militancy operations. This comes after a delay of almost 8 years. The Defence Ministry had originally approved the purchase of more than 350,000 jackets in 2009 but failure in field trials from the 6 manufacturers bidding on the contract caused the delay. The jackets being supplied are part of a 50,000 lot emergency order given to Tata Advance Material Limited. Click here to read more. Posted November 23, 2016

Embattled Airbag Manufacturer Narrows Buyers to Two. Will this dismal saga ever end? Per the Industry Week website, Takata Corp. has narrowed a lists of potential buyers to other airbag module manufacturers -- Autoliv Inc. and Key Safety Systems (Nigbo Joyson Electronic Corp.). Antitrust concern may be a problem for Autoliv since it is already the world's largest supplier of airbags. Key is currently the 4th largest manufacturer but would jump up to Number 2 if its bid is successful. Both companies had the advantage of already being airbag suppliers over the three other rejected companies which were making bids. Takata is a bit under the gun to get this deal done since it has lost more than 60% of its market capitalization in the last year and bankruptcy looms. Click here to read the Industry Week article. Posted November 21, 2016

 Automotive Textile Market Summary Posted. The website TechFeatured today posted a really detailed executive summary-style article about the automotive textile market. A couple of key take-aways from the article are that 45 square meters of textile materials are used in interior trim and that 2/3 of the materials are for interior trim, which, I guess means 67.5 square meters of textiles are used overall on average in a vehicle. The report seems very knowledgeable with lots of statistics but there is a note of caution: There is no attributed author or reference where the information was obtained. Click here to read it. Posted November 17, 2016

Korean Textile and Chemical Producer Acquires MEA Technology from Gore. According to the Korean Business website Kolon Industries, the chemical and textile unit of the Kolon Group, announced on November 7 that it has acquired the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) technology from U.S.-based W.L. Gore and Associates, Inc. An MEA is considered the "heart" of a PEM (polymer electrolyte membrane) fuel cell. It is composed of a film of ion exchange polymer (the membrane) and two electrodes, to convert fuel into electricity. Click here to read the entire article. Posted November 11, 2016

Industry Leader Passes. Roger Chastain, former president of Mt. Vernon Mills, passed away November 3. He was 74. Mr. Chastain was also active in the industry through involvement in several US national trade associations. He served as president of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI), the fore-runner of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) and was a past president of the South Carolina Manufacturer's Association (SCMA). He retired from Mt. Vernon Mills in 2008. Click here for more information. Posted November 8, 2016

Tension Structure Sues Contractor on DOD Project. Signature Structures, a designer, manufacturer and installer of fabric tension structures, and the US Department of Defense are suing in US District Court for the Southern District of California, alleging non-payment for services against Bilbro Construction Company, Inc., and Suretec Insurance Company. Click here for more information. Posted November 7, 2016

Self-Powered Textile Could Be Woven into Smart Clothes. According to the website, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US and the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems in China have made the first hybrid self-charging power textile system that can harvest both solar energy and the mechanical energy from a person’s movements. These energies can then be stored as chemical energy in fiber-shaped supercapacitors. The system can easily be woven into textiles for making smart clothes that power mobile and wearable electronics. Click here to read the article. Posted November 7, 2016

US Department of Commerce Releases September Export Figures. The numbers released by the US Department of Commerce for the month of September showed a continued decline in US exports for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. The United Kingdom at 1.88% was the only country in the top 5 to show an increase. Most troubling, Mexico, the top exporting designation, now for the first time recorded a decline in September. Below are the September export numbers for the World and the top 5 countries receiving exports. Click here to see the entire report. Posted November 7, 2016




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World 4,209,124 4,867,665 -3.36

Czech Defence Ministry Seeks Out US Army to Buy Ballistic Vests. According to the Prague Daily Monitor website, the Czech Defence Ministry is looking to buy 1000 ballistic vest plate carriers from the US Army. The Defence Ministry has reached out to the US military because no agreement on the supply of more than 2000 new "bullet-proof" vests by the Ceska zbrojovka Czech armament maker has been resolved. The vests were supposed to be supplied by November 2015 but not yet been received because of a contract dispute. The Defence ministry has decided to approach the US military because the lifespan of current vests will expire in February 2017. Click here to read the article. Posted November 7, 2016

Cooley Celebrates 90 Years. There is a nice article on the Innovation In Textiles website written by industry veteran Bill Smith on coated fabric manufacturer Cooley, Inc. celebrating its 90th year in 2016. Cooley is headquartered in Pawtucket, R.I., USA. It is a supplier of coated and laminated fabrics for industrial and signage markets, Click here to read the article. Posted November 7, 2016

FR Protection 101. The website Penn Energy has posted a nice concise overview entitled FR Protection 101 -- A Guide to Flame-Resistant Clothing for the Utilities Industry. The article gives a couple of key statistics revealing how many burn-related injuries and deaths are occurring in the workplace and applicable codes in the utility industry for FR protective gear. Click here to read the article. Posted November 7, 2016

ITG Acquired by Investment Company. International Textile Group, Inc. (ITG) announced that it has been acquired by Platinum Equity. ITG will continue as an entity. ITG has 5 companies within its portfolio -- Burlington, Cone Denim, Safety Components, Carlisle Finishing, and Burlington Contract Fabrics. Safety Components, based in Greenville, S.C., USA, is a manufacturer of fabrics for automotive airbags, military, outdoor products, protective clothing and other technical textile end markets. Click here for more information about the acquisition. Posted November 1, 2016

Good Primer on Smart Textiles. There's a neat article on the T3 website called "A Beginner's Guide to Smart Materials." It's a quick look for the consumer on what makes up the scope of wearable smart textiles, including touch materials, super strength graphene, and Goggle's Project Jacquard. Click here to look at it. Posted October 24, 2016

Sudden Leadership Change at Milliken. Textile giant Milliken & Co. announced Monday that J. Harold Chandler has been elected its chairman, president and chief executive officer, effective immediately, following the resignation of Joseph M. Salley as president / chief executive officer and as a member of the board of directors. No reason was given for Mr. Salley's resignation. Mr. Chandler has served on Milliken's board of directors for 14 years and as its chairman for the past five years. Mr. Salley served at Milliken for 20 years, serving as president and CEO for the past eight years. MIlliken is headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C., USA. Click here for more information. Posted October 18, 2016

August Statistics Continue to Show Cooling of US Export Figures for Specialty Fabrics. Weakness in US specialty fabric exports is evident with the US Department of Commerce releasing August export numbers and the results showing the fifth straight month of continued decline in exports in the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group. Below are the August export numbers for the World and the top 5 countries receiving exports. Click here to see the entire report. Posted October 17, 2016




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World 4,214,635 4,072,963 -3.36

US Automotive Interior Company Acquires Italian Company. According to a press release issued by Sage Automotive Interiors, the company has acquired the automotive manufacturing assets of Italy-based Apollo S.p.A. with the goal of expanding capacity and capability for automotive interior products to the European market. Based in Florence, Italy, and Bucharest, Romania, Apollo is ideally suited to supply automotive fabrics and sewn covers in Central and Eastern Europe. Specifics of the transaction were not disclosed. Sage and Apollo have a long history of working closely together in Europe. Sage Automotive Interiors is a global supplier of soft automotive interior surfaces—seating, door panel surfaces and headliners—to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Office and manufacturing locations include the U.S., Japan, China, Brazil, Korea, Mexico and Europe. Click here for more information posted on the Greenville Business Magazine website. Posted October 13, 2016

Narrow Fabrics Producer Has Name Change. Offray Specialty Narrow Fabrics® has changed its name to OTEX Specialty Narrow Fabrics™.  CEO Denise Offray says "I am proud of our family legacy that spans an astonishing 14 generations. But where once our family designed and manufactured decorative ribbons that brought joy to people lives; today we innovate and weave advanced fibers into narrow fabrics that save lives." OTEX is headquartered in Bernardsville, N.J., USA. Click here to read the entire company press release. Posted October 7, 2016

European Mars Parachute Update. It seems to be the week for Internet postings about parachutes and Mars. The website Mil-Tech has a short article on the European landing craft that will settle on the planet October 19 using a 12-meter diameter parachute. Click here for the article. Posted October 7, 2016

Russian Tankers Wear "Cowboy" Protective Suits. There's an interesting article on the Sputnik website about the deployment of better protective suits for Russian military tank crews. The protective clothing is formally known as 6B15 kit since its introduction in 2012 but is only now becoming more widespread with more than 1,000 kits being delivered in the Southern Military District this year. The crews have affectionately nicknamed the kits "Cowboy." the kits features Class 1 body armor, fire-retardancy, and ballistics-resistant padding on the tanker's headset. The suits, covering 80% of the tanker's body, weighs 6.5kg. Click here to read the article. Posted October 6, 2016

NASA Tests Mars Parachutes. Well, the Chinese are not the only ones busy with parachute testing for a landing craft destined to land on Mars [see our posting yesterday]. The US National Aeronautical Space Agency (NASA) conducted a series of tests on September 30 to qualify Orion's parachute system for test flights with astronauts. The unmanned test vehicle was dropped from a plane at 35,000 feet (about 6 miles). Click here to read an article on the website about the tests conducted. Posted October 6, 2016 

Key Safety Systems Plans Expansion in Japan. Regardless whether or not it is successful in being selected for taking over Takata, the beleaguered Japanese airbag manufacturer, Key Safety Systems is aiming to triple its revenues from Japanese automotive to $300 million by 2020, according to Automotive News, by building its first manufacturing plant while also looking at acquisitions. Currently No. 4 in the airbag business, acquiring Takata would propel Detroit-based Key to No. 2, in the world behind only Sweden's Autoliv, Inc. Click here to read the Automoitve News article. Posted October 6, 2016

Foss Manufacturing Buys Nonwovens Plant in Georgia. Foss Manufacturing, headquartered in New Hampshire, USA, with plants in Georgia, has purchased a needlepunch fabrics plant in Murray County, Georgia, USA, from Beaulieu America. The plant produces carpet fabrics and employs about 55 people. Foss produces an array of needlepunch nonwovens for markets including automotive and healthcare. Our thanks to industry consultant Alasdair Carmichael of Carmichael International for alerting us to the acquisition. Click here to read more about the purchase at the Dalton Daily Citizen website. Posted October 5, 2016

China Test Supersonic Parachute for Planned Mars Mission. China is preparing its first trip to Mars in 2021. The planned expedition includes landing a 5-ton spacecraft on the planet's surface. With this objective, China recently tested an experimental supersonic, low density parachute, launching it into the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere to simulate Mars' conditions. Few details have been released about the test other than it was a complete success. The craft will also include an inflatable airbag system for a soft landing. Click here to read more about the planned mission. Posted October 5, 2016  

Qartar Plans Tent Cities to House Fans Attending 2022 World Cup.  Qatar has a housing problem for the 2022 World Cup. The country is expected to have only 46,000 available hotel rooms ready for the event, short of the 55,000 Qatar promised in being selected. According to Doha News, the Supreme Committee of Delivery & Legacy has begun a trial project which could see 350 temporary tents and 300 permanent tents created in the traditional Arabian style. The tents will house 2,000 people. If the test is successful, Qatar will start the building of 5 desert tent cities of similar size, each with a different desert theme. Click here to read more. Posted October 5, 2016

Russian Military Interested in New Parachute for Ultra-Low Jumps. The Pravda.Ru website reports a parachute designed for ulta-low jumps is being developed. Called the Shturm, it will allow the airborne forces to land from a jump the height of 80 meters and perhaps as low as 50 meters. The D-10 standard Russian military parachute system is also being modernized in 2017 and is planned to be used until the new D-14 system is introduced in 2020. Click here to read more. Posted October 1, 2016

This Advertising Spot Is Available

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Contact us by clicking here and reserve this prime ad location.

Coming Events

  • October 8-10: 2018 AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition, Washington, D.C., USA

  • October 9-12: Nonwoven Fabric Property Development and Characterization, Raleigh, N.C., USA

  • October 10-11: 4th International Conference on Nonwovens for High-Performance Applications, Cannes, France

  • October 15-19: ITMA Asia + CITME 2018, Shanghai, China

  • October 15-19: CAMX, Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, Dallas, Texas, USA

  • October 16-17: GeoDallas 2018, Dallas, Texas, USA

  • October 16-18: IFAI Expo 2018, Dallas, Texas, USA

Click here to view the complete technical textiles events calendar that includes show information links.

NAFTA Replacement Agreement Negotiated. On October 1, President Donald Trump announced the US, Mexico and Canada had reached an agreement whichreplaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that went into effect in 1994. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) contains provisions and language that has an impact on the technical textiles industry; the most important are 1) a special section covering textiles and apparel and 2) rules of origin that will require 75% of automotive content (under NAFTA 62.5%) be made in North America. Mexico and Canada are the two largest importers of US made technical textiles and the automotive industry is the largest intended end market of these technical textiles. Click here to go to the United States Trade Representative's website and read the "Textiles and Apparel Goods" chapter. Posted October 3, 2018

Fiber Publication Acquired. INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, today announced the acquisition of two leading industry publications: International Filtration News and International Fiber News.  The association purchased the publications from International Media Group, Inc., based in Tempe, Az., USA. The purchase price and terms were not disclosed. The publications each have circulations of 8,000-plus domestic and international readers and have served their readers for over three decades. Both are published six times a year in print and digital formats. The acquisitions will expand INDA’s reach and relevance in the key markets the print and digital publications serve with a particular emphasis on the filtration and separation segment as INDA launches its new FiltXpo event to be held in Chicago every 18 months starting February 26-28, 2020.  Click here to read the INDA press release on the purchase. Posted October 2, 2018

Rhode Island Organizes Textile Innovation Network

Lori Urso, Director of Slater Mill Museum and US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

On September 24, 2018, US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the University of Rhode Island Business Engagement Center helped to launch the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN). The event was held in Pawtucket, R.I., US, at the Slater Mill Museum. RITIN is a trade group formed with the objective to guide the growth of the state's textile industry in the 21st century. "The Rhode Island Textiles Innovation Network is an innovative business partnership to help Rhode Island stay at the forefront of advanced textile manufacturing," said US Congressman David Cicilline. 14 companies of the state's textile industry participated in the meeting including American Cord & Webbing, Cooley Group, and Kenyon Industries. Click here to view a video of the opening address by Lori Urso, Director of Slater Mill Museum. [Note: The original post reported an incorrect the date of the meeting.] Posted September 28, 2018

New Trade Deal with Mexico is Good News for US Textile Industry

Automotive Manufacturing Leading End Market for Technical Textiles Shipped to Mexico. 


The United States and Mexico have reached a preliminary agreement that covers a substantial revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); specifically, the rules of origin for automotive parts. It is expected to incentivize billions annually in additional US vehicle and auto parts production. 


To qualify for zero tariffs under NAFTA, the current rule of origin requires 62.5% of the automotive parts must be made in NAFTA countries (Mexico, Canada and US). The new agreement increases to 75% for the parts to avoid the tariff. What's intriguing is that we don't know if the countries still include Canada, a substantial manufacturer of vehicles and automotive parts. Regardless, this will most certainly be a boon for US technical textile manufacturers as almost 50% of US technical textiles exports goes to Mexico and automotive fabrics are the leading destination end-product segment in making products such as airbags, headliners and seating.


Sobering Thought. Despite the "first glance" optimism, there may well be concern this revision could backfire on the US and Mexico. As I previously noted in my 2018 State of the US Technical Textiles Industry (March/April 2018, Textile World), increasing the percentage of automotive component parts (plus a new requirement that 40-45% of the auto content be made by workers earning at least $16 per hour) could end up pricing Mexican-made vehicles out of the very competitive global marketplace. Mexico currently makes 3.4 million cars annually for the world market.


Mea Culpa.  In my same article noted above, I honestly thought revisions to NAFTA would not get done in 2018 because of the elections going on in Mexico, Canada and the US. I underestimated the dodged determination of the Trump Administration to push this trade issue forward. Why Mexico has acted on it without Canada's input is still to be understood.


Click here to read the entire statement posted by the US Trade Representative. 


Steve Warner


Posted August 28, 2018

Frédérique Mutel Stepping Down as JEC President

Frederique Mutel

In a message to BeaverLake6 Report, JEC Group President Frédérique Mutel has confirmed she has stepped down at the leader of the composite trade organization that she has led since 1997. At the head of JEC since its creation, Ms. Frederique Mutel fully committed to the expansion of composites, was instrumental in the establishment of JEC as provider of high value knowledge and networking services. At the same time, conducting a strong international development. No replace has been announced.


On July 13, 2018, Ms. Mutel was promoted to the rank of Officer in the Order of the Legion of Honour by decree of the President of the France. A very deserving honor for a key leader in the development of the composites industry. Posted July 25, 2018

State of the Chinese Technical Textiles Markets in 2017

Are you looking for a quick understanding of the China technical textiles industry? Through our special relationship with China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) and their China Textile publication, BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to post the English-translation of the recently issued "Status Quo of China's Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Industry, 2017." The report covers the different levels of the industry, geographic export demographics, and forecast the needs in the major end market applications. Click here to read the report in our China Textile website section. Posted June 18, 2018

Report Published on the US Technical Textiles Industry

I am pleased to announce the second part of my report 2018 State of the U.S.Technical Textiles Industry has been published by Textile World magazine. 


This first part features a general industry overview, plus an evaluation of the status and impact of US trade positions.


The second part, featured in the April/May issue will cover major end markets for technical textiles such as automotive and military.


Click here to go to the Textile World website to download a copy. 


Steve Warner, Publisher

New Dates for ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 Textile Machinery Show

The joint owners of the ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 textile machinery exhibition have announced new dates for the 6th combined showcase to be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre in Shanghai, China. The new dates are October 15-19, 2018. According to show owners CEMATEX and Chinese partners, the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT (CCPIT-Tex), China Textile Machinery Association (CTMA) and China Exhibition Centre Group Corporation (CIEC), the shift in the exhibition dates is due to a new national initiative, which affected the scheduling of all events at the exhibition center in October. [Note: BeaverLake6 Report is an industry media partner for the show.] Posted February 11, 2018

New Glen Raven CEO Interviewed for Textile World Magazine

CEO Leib Oehmig

In October at the IFAI Expo 2017, I had the opportunity to sit down with -- at the time -- incoming Glen Raven CEO Leib Oehmig for an interview that has now been posted on the Textile World website and will also be in their printed November/December issue.


I've known Mr. Oehmig for probably more than 20 years and have watched his steady management progression within the Glen Raven organization. During the interview, he was very gracious with his time at a busy show and transparent in answering questions on a far-ranging number of topics including the management transition from Alan Gant, Jr., to Mr. Oehmig, the first non-Gant family member to lead Glen Raven. Click here to read the interview and learn more about the thoughts of one of our industry leaders.


Steve Warner


"Buy American" Amendments Needed in US FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act

As the saying goes "Politics make strange bedfellows." Today we find more than one-third of the Senate Democrats urging the inclusion of key amendments in the US FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (2018 NDAA) that would strengthen the US government's "Buy American" policies.


Versions of the NDAA were recently passed by both the Senate and House and a joint committee is working out a single bill. The submitted Senate version, however, left out proposed key amendments designed to prevent the weakening of domestic sourcing for the US military. One amendment included the prevention for lifting of the restrictions in place for domestic sourcing of wearable electronic products and another amendment prevents certain exceptions to the Berry Amendment which would allow non-domestic sourcing through memoranda of agreement with foreign governments.


What's the "strange bedfellows" aspect? Well, "Buy American" is also one of the key positions taken by the Trump administration. So, we have both the Democrats and the Trump administration on the same side, trying to keep strong the US domestic capability for supplying the military. Strange bedfellows given the current political animosity in Washington...but still the cooperation is vital for the US domestic textile industry. 


Steve Warner


Posted November 3, 2017

Is Saving the US Navy's Peacoat a Matter of National Security?

Since last August, the US Navy has been planning to phase out its iconic traditional wool peacoat in favor of a less expensive, synthetic cold weather parka which is lighter in weight and more versatile in types of inclement weather. It actually replaces two types of coats and the seabag the wool coat is stored.


The wool coat, however, has some powerful friends in the US Congress. Companies such as Northwest Woolen Mills in Woonsocket, R.I. and Sterlingware in Boston, Mass. Altogether, the supply chain involved in the manufacture of these woolen peacoats -- including sheep farmers -- is estimated to account for 400 jobs in the Northeast. Add to the drama that the new parka, made by the long-time military supplier Propper, is expected to be manufactured in Puerto Rico, a perceived feeling the new coat will be made by non-American workers.


Steve Warner


June 29. 2017

President Trump's Reveals 2017 Trade Policy Agenda

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has released President Trump's 2017 Trade Policy Agenda. The document, officially called 2017 Trade Policy Agenda and 2016 Annual Report of the President of the United States on the Trade Agreements Program, outlines the new Administration’s four trade priorities:

  • Defending the US National Sovereignty over Trade Policy
  • Strictly Enforcing US Trade Laws
  • Using Leverage to Open Foreign Markets
  • Negotiating New and Better Trade Deals

​BeaverLake6 Report has created a special page within this website and placed the first chapter of the 336-page document which summarizes the policy. Click here to read it. Posted March 2, 2017

What's the NCTO Game Plan for the Post-TPP Era?

Back on March 24, 2016, I was one of the first to predict the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was a dead deal. In fact, I said that I wouldn’t be surprised that, if Donald Trump became President, the agreement is shredded on day one of his new administration. Well, I was off by three days. Yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order, officially withdrawing the United States from the TPP agreement. Now the question is can the National Council of Textile Organizations put together a comprehensive plan for the domestic textile industry in a post-TPP era? Click here to read the rest. Posted January 25, 2017

Media Partners

In My Opinion

In 2015, I posted more than 425 items of interest for our industry on the BeaverLake6 Report website. In reviewing it all last week, it got me to thinking about putting together a list of influential events, news and trends that I observed during the past year. I have focused primarily on the US marketplace but each of “the things that mattered” to me has global implications.


So, here go my thoughts in no particular order of importance. Let me know if you agree or if I have missed some. Click here to read the list.


Steve Warner


Posted January 17, 2016

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Secretary Gary Locke, US Dept. of Commerce, and Steve Warner Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Steve Warner

Success in our industry is all about knowledge, integrity and developing relationships. BeaverLake6 Group, LLC, publisher of BeaverLake6 Report, is a management consulting firm focused on helping businesses understand the complex global technical textiles industry.


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